Roy Blount's Book of Southern Humor

Roy Blount, jr., Editor W. W. Norton & Company $27.5 (672p) ISBN 978-0-393-03695-4
With contributions from 114 authors-including three pieces by editor Blount (First Hubby) himself-this notable anthology offers a cornucopia of humor that, however loosely, can be associated with things ""`Southern.'' Old masters represented here include Mark Twain, William Faulkner, O. Henry, Eudora Welty, Flannery O'Connor, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Joel Chandler Harris, Tennessee Williams and Edgar Allen Poe (whose contribution, the short story ``X-ing a Paragrab,'' may surprise many). Luminaries among their heirs apparent are Tom Wolfe, Dave Barry, Harry Crews, Molly Ivins, Russell Baker and many more, while numbering among the less well-known contributors are Ferrol Sams, Bailey White, William Price Fox and Sarah Gilbert. The special treat here is the unexpected material collected from some rather offbeat sources: Julian Bond, Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, Brother Dave Gardner. Inexplicably, however, Blount passes over Lewis Grizzard, while giving six slots to Jerry Clower, and dismisses Carl Hiaasen by claiming that his novels ``resist excerpting.'' Also snubbed are the likes of T.R. Pearson, Fanny Flagg and Olive Ann Burns. Even with these glaring lapses, though, this generous volume deserves serious consideration as a holiday gift for the eclectic-or Dixie-minded-reader. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/14/1994
Release date: 11/01/1994
Genre: Nonfiction
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